Virginia Dare Extract Co., Brooklyn, N.Y., appointed Robert J. Verdi as business director of health and wellness. Verdi will be responsible for managing and developing the company’s health and wellness strategy and business.

Autocrat LLC, Lincoln, R.I., announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art Pilot Plant and Research & Development Lab. The company’s $1 million investment in this facility supports its expanding expertise, significantly increases speed to market, and assists customers in bringing competitively advantaged food and beverage products to market, the company says.

Schenectady, N.Y.-based Fortitech Inc. recently added PowerCap, a registered trademark of Liquid Health Labs Inc., Manchester, N.H., to its offerings to create an all-in-one, market-ready powdered product solution. PowerCap’s Three Caps Program features three major caps: PowerCap Push, PowerCap Twist and PowerCap Universal. All three offer a unique and fresh interactive beverage experience that keeps ingredients freshly stored in the cap until consumption, the company says.


D.D. Williamson, Louisville, Ky., promoted Greg Kreder to director of global quality.

Wauconda, Ill.-based Synergy Flavors announced the expansion of Synergy Aromas, its São Paulo-based business, through the acquisition of a local flavor operation. The acquisition included a new facility, which includes flavor creation and applications laboratories as well as skilled employees. As a result, Synergy strengthened its supply chain in Brazil and Latin America and now is better able to serve food and beverage companies in the region, the company says.


Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Sunwin Stevia International Inc. entered into a worldwide stevia distribution agreement with Wild Flavors GmbH, Zug, Switzerland.

Previously based in Lacey, Wash., Econet’s Univera, Unigen and Aloecorp companies have moved their corporate headquarters to Seattle. More than

100 employees in research and development, sales and marketing, and administration have moved into the new four-story, 70,000-square-foot headquarters located in the middle of Seattle’s life science and biotechnology community.


PureCircle, Chicago, received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a patent application pertaining to PureCircle’s growing line of natural flavors. First launched in June 2011, PureCircle’s natural flavors line is designed to work with PureCircle’s entire range of high-purity stevia products and other natural sweeteners, it says.


Purac, a subsidiary of CSM, Amsterdam, announced that its Purac Powder MA, a coated malic acid, was granted generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status and now can be used in powdered beverages in the United States.


Comax Flavors, Melville, N.Y., received certification from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). In addition, it now is an approved audit scheme under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).


Excellere Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, announced that it expanded its investment portfolio through a strategic equity investment in Flavours Inc., Yorba Linda, Calif. Flavours plans to use the capital and resources provided by Excellere to enhance its foundation and support future growth initiatives, including expanding production capabilities, recruiting additional executive talent, and investing in capabilities to enhance product innovation, it says.

At the World Brewing Congress, Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., Covington, Ky., presented its extensive portfolio of beer stabilizing solutions. This was the first time Ashland attended the event since acquiring International Specialty Products in August 2011. In addition to inhibiting haze formation and loss of clarity, Ashland’s Polyclar products prevent color deterioration, reduce excessive bitterness, are completely removed by filtration, and protect the flavor integrity of all types of beer, the company says. The company also recently appointed May Shana vice president of technology and growth strategy. Shana will be responsible for leading the unit’s global research and development and applications capabilities, managing the unit’s global research and technical centers, and leading the unit’s strategic growth business plan.


Sweet Green Fields, Bellingham, Wash., gained product patents in Australia and New Zealand for its Rebaudioside-A product of 99 percent purity. Altesse Stevia 99 is a breakthrough product for purity and offers superior taste qualities that can be used for challenging beverage formulations, the company says. Sweet Green Fields also gained process patents in Australia, New Zealand, China and Mexico for its Reb-A extraction method, known as the fast precipitation process, and its purity selection process, which were already patented by the company in the United States.


Shenandoah Growers, Harrisonburg, Va., partnered with Okeechobee, Fla.-based Sunfest Organic Herbs to expand reliable year-round supply of regionally grown, fresh organic herbs.


International regulatory and policy consultancy EAS, Brussels, named food technologist Yi Fan Jiang as the newest member of its food and nutritional products team. Yi Fan is based at the EAS office in Singapore, where her role as a regulatory adviser will complement the consultancy’s moves to expand its services in the region, the company says. EAS Asia, Singapore, also appointed Pushpanathan Sundram as its managing director.


BioControl Systems Inc., Bellevue, Wash., received additional “No Objection” letters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service for its Assurance GDS methods for detecting E. coli. The four methods can detect major non-O157 serotypes of Shiga Toxigenic E. coli O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145, as well as E. coli O157:H7.


Mannheim, Germany-based Beneo’s plants in Wijgmaal, Belgium, and Confienza, Italy, both received their first International Food Standard Certifications with scores of 98.5 percent. Both plants manufacture the company’s functional rice derivatives.


Applied DNA Sciences Inc., Stonybrook, N.Y., announced a 50 percent expansion of its office, production and laboratory space. The DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technology and product authentications solutions provider credits its growth to its increased number of product shipments as well as initial success for its smartDNA and digitalDNA product lines. The company also added nine new personnel positions in the last year.


 FMC Corp., Philadelphia, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the business assets of Pectine Italia S.p.A., Milan. The company expects to close the deal by the end of the year. FMC also announced that it will invest more than $100 million to build a microcrystalline cellulose manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand.